Two decades after it began, the twinning relationship between Comrie and Canada’s Carleton Place is as strong as ever.
This was evidenced recently in the friendships that were rekindled when Carleton Place Mayor Wendy LeBlanc led a four-member delegation from the Carleton Place Sister City Committee to the Shaky Village to celebrate the successful twinning’s 20th anniversary.
On Friday, August 17, Mayor LeBlanc met Perth and Kinross Provost Liz Grant during a civic reception. The next day, residents gathered for a special ceremony on the historic Ross Bridge, which further cemented the relationship.
Comrie presented the Canadians with commemorative shawls in the Comrie tartan and some whisky, which was passed around the gathered crowd, who took turns to sip it from a quaich — with the River Earn receiving a drop as well.
This was followed by a dinner for the guests hosted by Comrie Community Council at the Royal Hotel.During their five-day visit, the Canadians were also treated to a tour of the area and a trip to Crieff Highland Games.
Mayor LeBlanc said: “It gives me great pleasure to be back in Comrie again. Last time we were here marked the first student exchange.
“We had a 15th anniversary in 2007 and now we are here at our 20th. These past anniversaries, and the one this year, show that the twinning has worked, that there are groups of individuals who are dedicated to keeping the bonds alive and building on what has been accomplished in the past. “We are delighted to be here to represent our community, to enjoy your hospitality, and to begin another decade of positive, mutually beneficial relationship.”
Comrie Community Council chairman Andrew Finlayson said he was amazed by the warmth of spirit that had been engendered by the twinning. He told the Herald: “This must have seemed like a home from home for them and now, spurred on by these ancestors and supported by a genuine warmth of spirit shared between the communities, this twinning has created a modern day home from home on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Carleton Place will celebrate the 20th anniversary next month at its annual Heritage Ball, a black tie gala with a Scottish theme in honour of this year’s special anniversary.George Lees, the long-time chair of the Comrie Twinning Committee, will attend the formal dinner-dance with his wife Marlyn and their daughter Amanda.